What are the effects of herbicides and pesticides on health ? There has been much research concerning the effects of chemicals of herbicides and pesticides on the health and well-being of a person. This is an area where human’s can’t really be test subjects it still gives us a general idea on some effects that these substances have on our health.
Why are they used ?
The chemicals of herbicides and pesticides are used by the major food companies that process most of the produce you see. This includes both raw produce and the canned fruits and vegetables. It repels the bugs from feasting on crops but can be very unhealthy. Companies and researchers should find a natural and safer product to use for this purpose. Even if a safer product could be made though, it may be hard to get approved since money is a factor. Although its speculation, some companies may even be working with the medical field in keeping this from happening. The effects of herbicides and pesticides on health can not be overlooked.
Environmental exposure to herbicides and pesticides have been shown to have direct effects on mental factors. This includes: mental deterioration, nerve palsy (1) and motor speed and scanning (4). Other factors such as age, genetics, and even alcohol and tobacco can effect the central nervous system (5). Concerning epilepsy, the effects of herbicides and pesticides on health can be caused by either an excess of exititory stimulation, or an inadequate amount of inhibitory influence, and for those that are having continuous seizures, or status epilepticus a drug or poison could be to blame (2).
Parkinsons disease is a major disorder of the central nervous system in which the neurotransmitter dopamine is effected. Symptoms include continuous tremors and inability to control muscular movements. Exposure to these chemicals and having a specific gene can increase ones’ risk of developing Parkinson disease (3). This points to there being a environmental-genetic connection to developing this condition(8). Over a 25-year the effects of herbicides and pesticides on health of workers was looked at. Eight hundred workers around pesticides were followed. The active ingredients in the pesticides used were identified. Results showed an increase in risk of developing Parkinson disease when the ingredients were exposed to a specific gene (10). Over exposure to herbicides and pesticides for an extended period is thought to have the greatest effect on increasing the risk of health issues. Intensity of the exposure is more of a factor in developing Parkinson when compared to the time of exposure. One study in France, wine farmers that had PD were given questionnaires. The results indicated a much closer relationship between the intensity of exposure than duration (9). The effects of herbicides and pesticides on health can even have an effect on behavioral tendencies in children as well. This includes behavioral issues and learning, so it is more than just physical medical conditions that can be effected (7).
There are many medications for things such as epilepsy and other nervous system disorders. A study suggests that a specific natural enzyme could actually have an inhibitory effect. Restoration of the enzyme may even be a therapy for alzheimer, schizophrenia, and temporal lobe epilepsy (6).
One natural substance researched for its’ possible effects on seizures is called nigella sativa oil. A reduction in the amount of oxidative stress and the the induction of causing seizures has been shown(12). In one study, two forms of stimulation were used to invoke a seizure. These were what is called ptz, and maximal electrode shock. For this study, sativa was used in three different forms. These were: an aqueous extract, fixed oil, or volatile oil condition. The ptz form of shock was protected by all the forms except that of the fixed oil form. The volatile oil form suppressed the convulsions seen in electrode shock form (11). If your medications are not working , this may be an option, but you should first talk to your doctor.
The conditions that were mentioned are only some of the effects of herbicides and pesticides on health. It has even been thought that these chemicals may cause things such as cancer among other conditions. Because of these health risks the use of a more natural formula should be researched. Due to these health risks, I would purchase the most natural and organic type of produce possible. This means staying away from anything that has been overly processed.